As long as the purchase
of commodities remains monopolized, and they continue to receive
government dollars, these organizations will continue to destroy
farming. To hide their incompetent leadership these groups
encourage perennial migrations and toothless farm rallies to
grovel at the foot of Queens Park and Ottawa, begging for more
money, and new regulations. Six billion this year; how many
billons next year? But money will not help them, money is never
free, and beggars aren't respected, nor have a long life.
Every year is the same. The government gives farmers money, and
the trade off is more and costly regulations that drain the fields
of wealth. Restrictions on land use and practices, rising costs to
comply, and greater public ownership over private lands is the
cost of begging. In such a flawed economic system, no amount of
money can fix the problem; it only propagates further decline.
Very soon, the cost of farming will outweigh the benefits and the
loss in income will be insurmountable. This is a hard truth which
is slapping farmers in the face and though some realize it, many
others do not. The farm organizations and the marketing boards
have become self-serving organizations and farming has collapsed
as a result.
We have seen these
welfare farmers during the past few weeks on Parliament Hill, and
at food and fuel terminals, in what was a shameful exercise of
mock protest. Those who pretended to blockade food, and fuel
distribution, while allowing shipments must have felt humiliation.
This half-hearted protest to solve the problems on the farm was in
fact no attempt at all. It was a coward's way of disguising
inaction. The welfare class is now on strike, and outstretched
hands hold up their picket lines.
This demand for money
rings hollow in the ears of politicians and the public who see
this threat is an ineffectual tea-cup protest. The continuing
demand for more money and more handouts is the same welfare
strategy which has brought farming to the brink of collapse. Those
farmers who parade their tractors in search of public money with
the yellow signs that read "farmers
feed cities" are not the victims they claim to be, but the
authors of their own destruction. The urban politicians in Ottawa
and Queens Park could not be more thrilled with this demand for
money, because this means farmers are willing to be bought and
paid for, with the scraps of governments' largess.
In the case of
agriculture, what politicians really fear and respect are farmers
who reject government handouts and who would never lower
themselves to being bribed with their own money. Nor would these
farmers carry yellow signs which read, "Farmers feed cities," for
under this thin veneer, the real message is "Give us more money."
Rather, the farmers who understand that the root problems
afflicting agriculture must be solved first and that yearly
government handouts are not the solution but part of the problem,
have rallied around a red and white sign which reads: "This Land
is Our Land; Back Off Government."
The financial ruin on
Ontario farms is undeniable, but it is not a tragedy. A victim,
who by no fault of his own is driven by fate, or the malicious
actions of others, into inevitable destruction, characterizes
tragedy. Yet in farming there is no victim, because many farmers
embrace this poisoned package of corrupt management boards, a bill
of government lies and false promises, and follow cowardly
accredited organizations. They have committed economic suicide,
and now demand public health-care to revive them.
The farmers who
participate in the "One Voice/Farmers Feed Cities" program are
sowing their future with the seeds of social and economic failure.
The crop they reap will not be rewarding, but one of destitution
and overwhelming guilt. Follow the yellow signs on the road. The
path of proven failure awaits.